Writer and director Nancy Meyers has often drawn ire for her knack for purveying lifestyle over substance in her films, with works like It’s Complicated, The Holiday, and Something’s Gotta Give looking more like interior design magazines come to life than hard-hitting emotional dramas (anyone remember that subplot in It’s Complicated involving Meryl Streep’s kitchen renovation? The kitchen that was perfect to begin with?), but the woman sure knows how to make girls’ night out flicks for the older set (full disclosure: I do love The Holiday unironically). However, it looks like Meyers is looking to spice up her resume with two new projects – both with slightly different twists and surprising leading ladies.
First up, Meyers is joining forces with a bonafide funny lady for a different kind of mature relationship dramedy. Tina Fey is now on board to star in Meyers’s The Intern (which the filmmaker has written and will direct), in which she will “play the founder of an e-business with a fashion focus. As her company begins to thrive, she’s told that her company is importing seniors to be interns as a community outreach effort, and she’s getting one. While her first question is whether they are seniors in high school or college, she learns to her horror that she’s getting a real senior, as in senior citizen.” That intern ends up being “an over-70 widower who is bored with retirement from a middle management career, initially seems like a fossil to his working mother boss, but grows more indispensable.”
The center of the film will be friendship the pair create, a bit of a love story in the platonic sense. While there’s no word on who will play the intern, Deadline Santa Barbara says that Meyers does have a particular actor in mind for the part, but won’t comment until he signs on. Paramount Pictures will finance and distribute the film.
Meyers’s other project is a big change for the filmmaker, both in terms of its story and in that Meyers will only serve as director on it (she’s written all but one of her directorial outings). Also, the film come with a screenwriter very near and dear to Meyers’s heart – her daughter, Hallie Meyer-Shyer. Deadline Long Beach explains that “Meyers-Shyer is an up and coming scribe who’s being signed to a blind deal by Universal Pictures,” and she’s also one of the screenwriters on the big screen version of Eloise in Paris (her dad, Charles Shyer, is directing).
Details on the project, The Chelsea, are slim – but it already sounds like a real departure for Meyers. The film’s short plotline describes it “as an ensemble dramedy set in the Chelsea Apartments in New York City.” Clearly, it will have a younger bent to it, as Felicity Jones is currently attached to star in it.
While there’s no official word on when each film will get started, Meyers did tell Deadline that The Chelsea would come first, as long as that film’s cast fills out soon. Otherwise, she’ll be strapped waiting for Fey to finish up her work on 30 Rock for the season